The Yankees were on the hunt for another lefty relief candidate after Hideki Okajima failed his physical and apparently have found one in veteran Clay Rapada, says MLB.com.
Rapada, who turns 31 next month, is expected to get a minor league contract. The sidearmer had a 6.06 ERA in 16 1/3 innings for the Orioles last season, but he did hold lefties to a .104 average in 49 at-bats. The problem is that right-handers were 9-for-13 with two homers against him.
It’s the usual trend for Rapada and why he’s never been able to establish himself in the majors. In 78 lifetime appearances, lefties have hit .153 against him, while righties have come in at .359.
Barring a late trade or a surprising spring from Rapada or Rule 5 pick Cesar Cabral, there’s a good chance the Yankees will go with just one lefty reliever, that being Boone Logan.
The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.
The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.
This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.
The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.